The HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 8 is a fast, cushy and comfortable maximally cushioned everyday trainer. The Clifton is the shoe that really started the max-cushion shoe revolution a decade ago and now the eighth version raises the bar to new levels.
Our wear-testers believe the HOKA Clifton 8 is the best version of the Clifton yet.
The Clifton 8 continues upon its past success, delivering an even softer, smoother ride than its predecessor.
A new, ultralight midsole foam, an updated engineered mesh upper, a revised outsole and a refined heel pull tab are some of the other highlights of this exceptional update.
The slightly updated engineered mesh upper is even more comfortable and secure than last year’s and equally as breathable. Plus, it provides better hold for a wider range of foot shapes and gait patterns.
The flat-waisted outsole is slightly wider than last year’s version, giving it a touch more inherent stability. There is a new hollowed out heel for a decoupling effect to smooth the impacts of heel striking and there are new flex grooves that allow easier flexing during the second half of a stride.
Segments of rubber under the forefoot and heel for traction interspersed with exposed foam in between to keep the weight down.
The new midsole material is made from a new EVA foam compound that’s 15 percent lighter than the previous Clifton midsole.
It has a bit more pop than previous version, but it’s not exceptional springy or bouncy.
FIT, FEEL, RIDE
The fit of the Clifton 8 is true to size with a medium to slightly narrow interior volume and a new curled design at the heel tab that reduces pressure against the Achilles tendon. (The Clifton is also available in a secondary width for men and women, too.)
The step-in feel is plush and luxurious — a soft sensation feeling and smooth and comfortable wrapping sensation from the upper. That’s similar to the previous two editions of the Clifton, so if you liked those appreciate this edition as well.
What sets this version of the Clifton apart are the ride and the vibe. The softer, lighter midsole foam make this shoe feel faster and more nimble for all types of running.
It feels slightly more energetic than the previous versions of the Clifton, but the ride is all about soft, shock-absorbing comfort.
WHO IT’S BEST FOR
C’mon, who wouldn’t like the Clifton 8? Just as HOKA changed the game with the original Clifton, the eighth edition can be a game-changer for just about any runner.
It’s light and soft enough to run fast and long, but cushy enough to run slower over any distance. New runners, runners who appreciate soft cushioning or light shoes and competitive runners should all like this shoe for the comfort and agility it provides.
It could definitely be a race-day shoe for 10K to the half marathon (and maybe the marathon for runners who are strong and stable), but it really excels as an everyday trainer.
PROS: HOKA CLIFTON 8
As with all HOKA shoes, the Clifton 8 features the brand’s early stage Meta-Rocker profile design. That feature produces a rolling sensation in every stride that both reduces the ground force impact and eases the foot’s transition to the toe-off phase.
The Clifton 8 is a vegan-certified shoe, which means it is made from 100 percent vegan materials. The lightweight combination of softness, liveliness and comfort allow the Clifton to be a stunning everyday trainer.
It feels good running shorter or slower, but it feels exceptional when you bump up the pace for tempo runs or intervals. And most runners will enjoy this for longer runs between 10 and 20 miles.
CONS: HOKA CLIFTON 8
There aren’t many knocks against the Clifton 8, but neutral runners who prefer or need more stability for longer runs might find it slightly less stable than they’d like.